Monthly Talking Point – May 2019

This month the Reverend David Jenkins considers “Seeing with new eyes”

I have sometimes been privileged to listen to people who have had a cataract operation and they will frequently tell me that they now see much more clearly and that colours are much more vivid than before, and, sometimes, they say that they no longer need to wear glasses. It must be wonderful to see with new eyes.

Sometimes people who come new to an area or to a workplace can see clearly what others, who have been in place much longer, may no longer notice. Their ability to see with new eyes brings an objectivity to a situation that might have been missing before, and their observations contain a challenge to the rest of us to look afresh and see things from another angle.

Some great scientific breakthroughs have come about by seeing in a different way, making connections that may not have been made before, noticing what is in front of us and seeing it afresh. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin came about when he looked again and noticed with new eyes what had been beside him in the room in which he was sitting.

It is easy for all of us to get into ruts which confirm our prejudices. It is easy to go along with the tram lines which we have set as perimeters of our vision. Some of the people who have helped us most in life have been those whose challenge and encouragement has helped us to see with new eyes. They may have been family members, teachers,
work colleagues, or people whose thinking we’ve come across in a book or magazine.

This season of Eastertide is radically and dynamically about seeing with new eyes, approaching life with surprise and freshness, constantly learning, continually growing as people, marvelling at the extraordinary in the ordinary, watching horizons expand.
Are we open to seeing with new eyes, pursuing fresh adventures, and discovering different insights?

Rev’d. David Jenkins is a member of the Methodist Team Ministry
and Co-Chair of Churches Together in Caversham